What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall Act prevents building work undertaken by one neighbour undermining the structural integrity of shared walls or neighbouring properties. It is also designed to avert and resolve potential disputes with neighbours.
You will need to give a Party Wall Act Notice if you’re looking to carry out building work where there are adjoining properties within a 6-meter radius.
Party Wall Notices should be served at the earliest opportunity in order to ensure that there is sufficient time for the notice/s to run and for negotiations, if a dispute arises, to be undertaken. However notices are only valid for 12 months so caution should be given so as not to serve the notice too early either as they may then expire before works commence. This is not usually an issue with smaller domestic scenarios but should be factored into larger, longer-term projects.
What should you do if your Neighbour is carrying out works and has not served Party Wall Notices?
Your neighbour has a legal responsibility to serve Party Wall notices under the Act prior to notifiable works commencing. Notifiable works, include cutting into the Party Wall, Excavating within 3-6 meters and to a lower depth of your foundations and building on the line of the junction to name a few example under the Party Wall Act dispute.
You should contact one of our Surveyors on 0208 432 2876 or firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance for some free advice on how best to proceed. In many cases our Surveyors can contact your neighbour on your behalf to request a Party Wall Award to be drawn up to protect your interests – costs of which are their responsibility.
What should you do if you have served notices but your neighbour ignores them?
Once a Party Wall Notice is served the Adjoining Owner has 14 days to respond to that Notice. If 14 days pass and there still isn’t a response from the Adjoining Owner, at that point a further Notice can be served which gives them a further and final 10 days to respond.
If the adjoining owner still hasn’t responded after the service of the Party Wall Notice and the service of the 10 Notice, at that point the Building Owner can then appoint a surveyor on behalf of the non-responsive Adjoining Owner to allow the Party Wall matter to progress.
Once the neighbour’s surveyor has been appointed the two surveyors will then proceed as if the neighbour had appointed the surveyor and undertake all of the normal exchanges progressing to agreeing the Party Wall Award.
If the two appointed surveyors fail to agree upon any of the issues in dispute they can make a referral to a previously selected Third Surveyor.
Neighbours ignoring the Party Wall Act? Need advice or help about Party Wall Act dispute? Find out more about the Party Wall act compensation & Party Wall Act agreement dispute – contact us get some free advice from the Surveyors at Seven One Associates.